The European Association of the Machine Tool Industries, better known as CECIMO, represents the common interests of these industries, both globally and at the level of the European Union (EU). The organization plays an important role in strategically figuring out the next direction the European industry should take, along with promoting development in economy, science, and technology – like 3D printing.

Industry 4.0 is bringing about some major technological transformations in the world, such as rapid prototyping, layered manufacturing, Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), and additive manufacturing (AM) technology, which is at the forefront.

Earlier this year, CECIMO released an overview of relevant additive manufacturing policies which needed the attention of EU authorities, as it compiled input from experts and offered advice on speeding up the additive manufacturing intake. Now, it’s partnering up with the European Foundation for Welding, Joining and Cutting (EWF) in a joint effort to increase adoption and utilization of AM technology by developing areas of, according to CECIMO, “mutual interest and close collaboration on all relevant EU projects.”

The printers that perform complex AM activities, and the new professional qualifications needed to operate them, are the impetus for the widespread adoption of the technology into the mainstream, which is why EWF and CECIMO have joined forces. As AM is coming into its own, with more important applications than just being a niche hobby, it is poised to impact multiple sectors around the world, and CECIMO and the EWF are ready.

To support Europe’s industry as adoption of the technology spreads, the two will search for opportunities that are mutually relevant, and share information on things like AM advocacy, qualification, and EU project proposals centered around the technology; they will also set up joint working groups that will focus on developing activities for “areas of mutual interest.”

The long-term goal is to make sure that business and industrial advances are not hindered, but rather matched, by professionals’ qualifications to operate them, along with supporting necessary regulatory and policy conditions.

For its part of the partnership, CECIMO will continue to be a machine tools industry representative, and report the concerns of the AM industry to EU authorities. It will also represent some of the key companies of the additive manufacturing ecosystem, and work to create an enabling policy, along with regulatory and business framework for AM technology in Europe.

CECIMO’s work will include several important initiatives, such as advising European institutions on the most important areas of AM research ahead of the next EU budgetary program, setting up specific AM standards under EU regulations, and developing AM-specific curricula for European educational institutions. CECIMO is a partner in several EU projects related to AM, and also sets up important, upper-level conferences in the European parliament with policy-makers and top AM businesses.

EWF, which manages the International System for Training, Qualification and Certification of welding companies and personnel, will be leading the way on these required professional qualifications. The organization contributes to the VET in the welding sector of over 30 European member countries, and manages a system for certification and qualification of welding personnel and companies.

For its part of the partnership, the EWF will be focusing on developing the necessary qualifications for the next generation of AM professionals, as well as “providing the basis for getting today’s workers ready for the challenges posed by new technologies.”

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